Photography Holidays In Scotland

CAMERA… LIGHTS… ACTION… a snapshot of photogenic Scotland


Be tempted by spectacular Scottish landscapes and awesome views and take a photography holiday in Scotland…It’s a creative, inspirational, and motivational reason to take a luxury break in Scotland at any time of the year.

Written by Linda Jackson

If only the renowned Scottish mathematician and physicist James Clerk Maxwell, who presented some of the first permanent colour photographs back in 1861, could see colour photography as it is today he’d be in his element.

And just imagine the delight of the Scottish pioneering photographer-geographer John Thomson if, back in the late 1800s/early 1900s, he’d been given the advantages of digital photography when he first visited the Far East, an exotic destination where very few photographers had travelled before him.

Times have certainly changed since the 19th century, yet still today Scotland can boast of its famous photographers, two in particular:  Harry Benson CBE, a Glasgow born photographer famous for his photographs of U.S. Presidents, The Beatles, Elizabeth Taylor, the Clintons, and Michael Jackson. Fellow Scot Albert Watson, born in Edinburgh, is also an influential Scottish photographer, renowned for his cover images on Vogue magazine as well as for stunning fashion, art and celebrity photographs; his creative work is found in galleries worldwide.

Capturing the beauty of people on camera is one angle that not many will achieve with such outstanding success as Benson and Watson, but capturing the beauty of Scotland’s landscapes on camera is achievable, promising rich rewards and considerable pleasure to amateur photographers amongst us. 

Just imagine vast blue skies dotted with white clouds, wild foaming seascapes, breathtaking glens, snow-capped mountains and aromatic pine forests.



Visualize orange sunsets, a calm turquoise sea and white sand beaches, haunting castles cloaked in mist, and beautiful lochs reflecting the autumn colours that surround them. Finding beautiful scenic landscapes to photograph in Scotland is certainly not a problem.

Scotland’s amazing scenery is a photographer’s dream come true.  From dramatic volcanic plugs in the south of Scotland; towering mountains and deep glens in the Highlands; and elegant architecture in Scotland’s cities… to ancient standing stones on Scotland’s Islands or the beautiful beaches of the Outer Hebrides.



With so many picturesque locations in Scotland to photograph it might be worth seek advice from the concierge at your hotel.  With local knowledge and canny intuition, they know all the best spots! To motivate and tempt anyone with a camera … or even a mobile phone, here are a few Scottish subjects to inspire and ideas to consider for a photographic vacation in Scotland: 

Choose a castle to photograph from an astonishing 3,000 castles in Scotland, and catch the subject scenic castle in an early morning setting or when the sun sets, and you might capture a haunting image of a Scottish castle cloaked in mist, or a stunning picture of a castle engulfed by an orange sunset.

Popular picturesque locations and castles include Eilean Donan Castle, which sits on the shoreline of Loch Duich; Kilchurn Castle, located on the banks of Loch Awe; Stalker Castle near Glencoe; and the Tantallon Castle ruins, near North Berwick and less than 30 minutes  drive from Edinburgh.


The coastline in Scotland is dramatic and very photogenic - from the red coastal rocks of East Lothian; the picturesque Scottish harbour of Crail on Fife’s  east coast; the richness of the Perthshire highland landscapes … to the dramatic stacks of Duncansby on the northeast Scottish mainland and the stretches of gorgeous white sand in the deserted Shetland Isles, Scotland is certainly not short of stunning coastal panoramas to photograph.



Wherever you travel within Scotland, you’ll never be more than around 40 miles from the sea.  

On the West you’ll discover craggy shores open to the weather but sheltered sea lochs as well, and in the East you’ll find a low lying coastline edged by dunes and sandy beaches.

Kite surfing and land-sailing are popular sports here if you’re looking for ‘action’ photographs complete with turbulent waves to add to the drama.


Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park together with the Cairngorms National Park are areas of outstanding landscapes in Scotland. Located in the centre of Scotland, Loch Lomond is the largest fresh water area in Britain and wherever you find yourself around the loch, in the depths of winter or the height of summer, you’ll discover wonderful views to photograph.

Visit the picturesque Bracklinn Falls, Callandar; go to the summit of Ben A’an (midway between Callandar and Aberfoyle) for far-reaching views over Loch Katrine; and maybe photograph the flora, fauna, rivers and streams found along loch-side footpaths.

The Cairngorms National Park when it snows offers photographers a wonderful winter photo shoot, it’s beautiful; perfect for action shots of snow-boarders and skiers.

You don’t need to ski either, just get the mountain railway from base station to top station and capture on camera the breathtaking views over Aviemore, Strathspey, and beyond.





Loch Crinan in Argyll & Bute offers some magnificent views and picturesque corners. The historic Crinan Canal is perfect for  quaint harbour views, yachts and lighthouse shots. Wait for the sun to catch the hills across the loch for some stunning landscape photos.

The isles of Islay, Jura, Mull, Loch Duich in Wester Ross and the Isle of Skye all have wonderful views and a chance for the sharp eyed visitor to capture dolphins  seals  and other wild life.


An impressive and spectacular event throughout Scotland every autumn is the ‘rut’. Don’t miss this October happening if you want action photographs of majestic red deer stags battling for dominance over their opponents for the love of their life… or at least for the season anyway.

Scenes are action-packed and noisy but, equipped with telephoto lenses, your photographs promise to be striking.

If you are looking for bigger subjects to photograph then consider mountains and cities: poles apart yet each as impressive as the other. Scotland’s mountains act as magnets for hikers, so why not combine a healthy walk with your photography. With over 280 individual mountains above 3,000ft (called Munro’s by the regular climbers) it won’t be hard to find a target for your spotlight: Ben Nevis being the star of the show at 4,490ft high.



As for cityscapes to photograph, Edinburgh in particular is blessed with splendid architecture, ancient castles and stunning views – all within walking distance of Princes Street and the Royal Mile.  


The city can be captured in all its glory from the heights of Arthurs Seat which overlooks the palace of Holyrood, Edinburgh Castle and provides wonderful vistas out over the rooftops of the Old and new Towns to the Kingdom of Fife.

Glasgow offers a different challenge. They say to see Glasgow properly you need to look up! Within the heart of the city canyons of tall buildings reflect the wealth generated in bygone days and the beauty of the stonemasons craft.

The buildings of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Glasgow’s celebrated architect, are icons of Art Nouveau design and renowned the world over.



As we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Luxury Scotland throughout 2012, we want to share the inspirational beauty of Scotland with you… as well as our luxury Scottish hotels in Scotland.

This month we launch our Luxury Scotland photographic competition with prizes of luxury breaks in one of Luxury Scotland’s exclusive hotels.  

Be inspired. Be rewarded. Let us see Luxury Scotland through your eyes.

Luxury Scotland
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